Class 4, Region B will have more time to try to resolve its 20-school logjam when the Virginia High School League’s new alignment takes effect for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.
At its final alignment meeting on Wednesday, the VHSL’s executive committee granted the region a delay, likely until the committee meets in February.
“This will allow us to explore, among all four regions [in Class 4], some different scenarios,” said Region 4B chairman Bill Swink, the activities director at Spotsylvania High School.
The region includes Richmond-area schools, along with schools in the Fredericksburg and Charlottesville areas.
Adjustments to the VHSL’s four-year classification plan created the overcrowded region. After two years — in 2021-22 — schools can move up or down in one of the six classifications (Class 6 is for the highest enrollments) as enrollments change. Each class is divided into four regions.
Area schools Atlee, Henrico, Matoaca and Varina saw enrollments decrease enough that they got approval from the league in late July to drop from Class 5 to Class 4. They’re scheduled to join Dinwiddie, George Wythe, Hanover, Huguenot, the former Lee-Davis, Monacan, Patrick Henry and Powhatan in 4B.
With the influx of teams, the region will have 20 schools, creating the largest region in the state and an imbalance in Class 4.
Region A (Williamsburg area to Chesapeake) will have 13 schools. Region C, in the northwest part of the state, will have 16. Region D, which is spread from Lynchburg to Halifax to the southwest part of the state, will have only eight.
Region D schools will have a greater chance of making it to state tournaments. Each of the four regions generally sends its champ and runner-up in team sports other than football (champ only).
An earlier proposal from Region B to go to eight regions, with 6-9 schools per region, was denied by a VHSL alignment appeals committee.
Correction: All state basketball championships (Classes 1 through 6), and the volleyball championships for boys Classes 5 and 6 (and boys Classes 1-4 combined) and girls Classes 4-6, will be played at local sites this year and not at the Siegel Center. Those were contracted to be played at VCU, but the VHSL adjusted the schedule because of COVID-19.